Ken Wentworth

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To be both boundless and inclusive

Posted on March 30, 2018 at 10:10 PM

In seeking to understand pop and the self/s that are constructed by it [Sue Dodd] produced the Gossip Pop project. The duplicitous and multivalent role of “pop" (subject, medium, music, art, celebrity, gossip, object, process, audience, genres and more) that Gossip Pop investigates, above all else presents the somewhat utopic and impossible desire for creative work, the art object and the artist’s domain to be both boundless and inclusive.


Dodd, Sue Ellen. 2013. "Gossip Pop: A Performative Investigation Of The Role Of Pop In Contemporary Art Practice". Vuir.Vu.Edu.Au. http://vuir.vu.edu.au/24837/1/Sue%20Ellen%20Dodd.pdf


Freezing a "moment"

Posted on March 19, 2018 at 9:55 PM

'[Gossip pop] reveals the undecidability or subjectivity inherent in all knowledge production and reception, thereby proposing (authorised) knowledge and theory as inherently speculative. Gossip Pop further interrupts the inherent timebase of pop and gossip, taking and freezing a “moment” from its endless cyclic flow. This transformative act demonstrates how art practice can archive, make manifest and generate new meanings for the temporal epistemological constructions of pop roleplaying: the social and historical constructs to which they inhere.'


Dodd, Sue Ellen. 2013. "Gossip Pop: A Performative Investigation Of The Role Of Pop In Contemporary Art Practice". Vuir.Vu.Edu.Au. http://vuir.vu.edu.au/24837/1/Sue%20Ellen%20Dodd.pdf


A mediated sphere that demonstrates the constructedness of life

Posted on March 16, 2018 at 9:45 PM

'Whilst pop as a field of knowledge is authorless, and unauthorised, the optimised individual, the celebrity role (role-model) is played out in a mediated sphere that demonstrates the constructedness of life (and of work) and, hence, for Gossip Pop and contemporary art, suggests practical methodologies and commensurate production potential. Celebrities adopt and act out a range of roles and are slotted into the revelations, fabrications and recycled scripts of tabloid vernacular.'


Dodd, Sue Ellen. 2013. "Gossip Pop: A Performative Investigation Of The Role Of Pop In Contemporary Art Practice". Vuir.Vu.Edu.Au. http://vuir.vu.edu.au/24837/1/Sue%20Ellen%20Dodd.pdf

The disguise for an eternal sameness

Posted on March 14, 2018 at 8:00 PM

What parades as progress in the culture industry, as the incessantly new which it offers up, remains the disguise for an eternal sameness; everywhere the changes mask a skeleton which has changed just as little as the profit motive itself since the time it first gained its predominance over culture.

—Theodor Adorno, The Culture Industry


Dodd, Sue Ellen. 2013. "Gossip Pop: A Performative Investigation Of The Role Of Pop In Contemporary Art Practice". Vuir.Vu.Edu.Au. http://vuir.vu.edu.au/24837/1/Sue%20Ellen%20Dodd.pdf

To enable a playful engagement.

Posted on March 12, 2018 at 7:25 PM

'The Gossip Pop artwork addresses an imagined “knowing” audience and aims to enable a playful engagement with existing celebrity gossip “texts” from a variety of perspectives. The knowingness implied by the Gossip Pop project also encourages a heightened awareness of the complex complicity, as consumers and producers, of celebrity culture and art, within the capitalist consumption production system. Adorno calls this the “culture industry,”'


Dodd, Sue Ellen. 2013. "Gossip Pop: A Performative Investigation Of The Role Of Pop In Contemporary Art Practice". Vuir.Vu.Edu.Au. http://vuir.vu.edu.au/24837/1/Sue%20Ellen%20Dodd.pdf

Repetitive and cyclic

Posted on March 9, 2018 at 3:10 PM

'These images are likewise highly repetitive and cyclic. The repetition occurs both within individual pages of particular magazine editions, articles or photonarratives and over weeks, months and years as the same celebrity subjects are depicted in a seemingly endless parade of replayed situations. Big stories are strung out over time as crumbs of new detail are added. Yet, the mass media stories constantly refer back to ageless archetypal narratives and recurring or favourite tabloid themes. This creates a constant feeling of déjà-vu—another teenage trainwreck, another shock divorce, another wedding or funeral.'


Dodd, Sue Ellen. 2013. "Gossip Pop: A Performative Investigation Of The Role Of Pop In Contemporary Art Practice". Vuir.Vu.Edu.Au. http://vuir.vu.edu.au/24837/1/Sue%20Ellen%20Dodd.pdf

The guilty pleasures of gossip

Posted on March 8, 2018 at 2:45 PM

'the guilty pleasures of gossip, including schadenfreude, smugness, titillation and feelings of power. However, other, more worthy, pleasures include:


• catharsis—the release of negative feelings such as anger, envy or bitterness;

• solving mysteries—unravelling complex rationale for behaviour; and

• enjoyable learning—achieving a deeper understanding of human beings in


general, and the individual character traits, motivations, actions and relationships of both people we know and public figures. Westacott also catalogues the indirect benefits of gossip as: improving our understanding of social reality, facilitating the operation of social institutions, fostering intimacy between people, counteracting secrecy and enforcing social mores, and ultimately concludes that “there is nothing necessarily wrong with gossip.'


Dodd, Sue Ellen. 2013. "Gossip Pop: A Performative Investigation Of The Role Of Pop In Contemporary Art Practice". Vuir.Vu.Edu.Au. http://vuir.vu.edu.au/24837/1/Sue%20Ellen%20Dodd.pdf

collective acts of commodification

Posted on March 1, 2018 at 2:30 PM

'Hence, celebrity culture—cultivated, watched and consumed—becomes a logical extension of our own acts because it performs these collective acts of commodification of all aspects of life via particular recognisable individuals, symbols or simulacra for their audiences, in the discursive, public and social spheres. Celebrity culture has become, like the internalised drives to self-optimisation, utterly familiar (despite our better judgment). In other words, I suggest, celebrities do what we ourselves all do, but in an optimised way. At the same time, celebrities, privileged with the time and money to enact self-improvement to a high degree, do not stand only as examples and images of what is achievable, given luck, talent, time and money. Their lives simultaneously demonstrate the fundamental futility and emptiness of these endeavours, portraying that image does not insulate one from unhappiness, obsession, aging, addiction, loss, illness, loneliness, or any of the everyday vagaries of life and fate.'


Dodd, Sue Ellen. 2013. "Gossip Pop: A Performative Investigation Of The Role Of Pop In Contemporary Art Practice". Vuir.Vu.Edu.Au. http://vuir.vu.edu.au/24837/1/Sue%20Ellen%20Dodd.pdf

The new colonisation

Posted on February 28, 2018 at 5:25 PM

Collective cultural metadata is the new frontier to be explored, analysed and colonised. We are single cells or specimens in the metephorical petri dish that is the ephemeral digital matrix that we all inhabit. A systematic virtual structure that encloses, envelopes and entraps us by 'choice' in an addictive constructed cultural landscape. Text inspired by artwork: Metadata Petri Dish, 2015. http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/four-corners/NC1704H010S00

Social network mapped

Posted on March 22, 2017 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Our collective minds are the next terrain to be mapped and surveyed, as we negotiate the digital and physical landscape. Manipulated by click bait, that we consume oblivious or ambivalent to the fact that our 'likes', clicks and chance views of our media feed are used to analyse the landscape of our collective minds by multinational corporations, government security agencies and market research companies. We become nodes in a circuit of collective data that is compiled via stealth, but by our 'consent' due to terms and conditions that we agreed to and yet did not read. Is digital media the new nicotine or sugar, impacting on more than our health, skilfully interwoven market research and government surveillance under the guise of social connections with our friends and family, surreptitiously eroding our discernment, social and intellectual faculties. Text inspired by artwork: Social network mapped, 2015.

Grasping at outdated constructs

Posted on March 20, 2017 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Is our culture grasping onto outdated constructs, moving vacantly forward, mindlessly following rules of engagement and holding onto an empty sense of security. Blocking out peripheral cultural complexities, in an attempt to deny the need for cultural and societal change. As the world very slowly falters, and we lack collective conviction to agree to do anything about it. Basically, we keep shopping, feathering our nests and following outdated cultural frameworks as the world metaphorically and literally disintegrates around us. Text inspired by artwork: You claw at your cultures mixed bag of emptiness (Misha Barton), 2008.

Are our infantile fantasies of 'Perfection' making our society selfish and self involved?

Posted on April 23, 2016 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Are we processing our lives through a filter; cultural, digital and psychological. Presenting an edited and idealised self image and persona. But at what expense? Does this self imposed 'filter' inadvertently make us self involved and selfish, is the selfie the epitome of being self involved and oblivious to a deeper understanding of the world. Are we so seduced by the need to present an idealised self, both in the digital and real world, that we risk becomimg a society of self involved vacuous individuals who's only interest is creating the 'perfect' timeline and the matching manufactured false life.... [Coral bleaching is not the only 'bleaching' we should fear, however interrelated!] Text inspired by artwork: Beach side musings on perfection (Lara Flynn-Boyle & Drew Barrymore), 2008.

Are we losing grip?

Posted on March 27, 2016 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (0)
We are holding onto our future as it hangs perilously, our cultures pending demise being dependant on our collective actions. Holding onto outdated thought patterns, cultural infrastructures and histories at our peril. Dangling in a delicate predicament, where the future we hold in our hands can fall from grace. Hovering, and potentially slipping from our collective hands, as we blindly move forward, oblivious to the impending oblivion we co-create. Text inspired by artwork: Losing grip (Michael), 2005.

How they hunt cattle

Posted on March 19, 2014 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

'We have got the fruit of creation now, and need not trouble ourselves with the core. Every conceivable object of Nature and Art will soon scale off its surface for us. Men [women] will hunt all curious, beautiful grand objects, as they hunt cattle in South America, for their skins [images] and leave the carcasses [physical form, object or person] as of little worth.'


Ewen, Stuart.   All consuming images: The politics of style in contemporary culture (Basic books, 1988)

Emptiness filled with signs

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)

'We are surrounded by emptiness, but it is an emptiness filled with signs.'

Lefebvre, Henri. Everyday life in the modern world

The cord between aspect and materiality has been severed.

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

'Photography signaled the beginning of a time when the "image would become more important than the object itself, and would in fact make the object disposable." [Oliver Wendell] Holmes foresaw a time when surfaces would be routinely appropriated from any conceivable source, and would then take on an autonomous, yet objective, life of their own. "Form," he proclaimed, "is henceforth divorced from matter. In fact, matter as a visible object is of no great use any longer, except as the mould on which form is shaped." The cord between aspect and materiality has been severed.'

Ewen, Stuart.  All consuming images: the politics of style in contemporary culture ( Basic books, 1988 )

Not something natural, but cultural.

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Collages and ready mades are testimonials to the fact that all forms of representation whether they be pictures or words or gestures - are dependent on cultural languages. What we know and represnent is not something natural, but cultural, and does not exist in an ideal essence but is shaped by history.

Source:

Staniszewski, Mary-Anne.  Believing is seeing - Creating the culture of art. 

All things noneconomic pass out of view.

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (0)

'As society externalizes, all things noneconomic pass out of view. As the university increasingly comes under the markets sway, this means that all aspects of intellectual life that are not directly relevant to increasing market productivity will inevitably be devalued'

Stiles, Paul.  Is the American Dream Killing you ( Harper Collins, 2005)


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